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Safdie Architects completes Albert Einstein Education and Research Center in São Paulo | News | Archinect

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Safdie Architects has completed a new verdant medical school and research building with a distinctive domed glass roof in São Paulo.

Conceived as an urban oasis, the Albert Einstein Education and Research Center (AEERC) is the latest initiative of Brazilian healthcare institute Sociedade Beneficente Israelita Albert Einstein. It is slated to be one of Latin America’s most advanced institutions for medical research and study. 

The Center is located in São Paulo’s Morumbi district, adjacent to the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. The AEERC is the first medical school established by a private hospital in Brazil. Safdie Architects also worked in collaboration with Perkins&Will, who led the programming and interior planning of the classrooms and labs. 

The integration of nature throughout the spaces of the facility is at the core of the project’s design. The centerpiece of the building is a spacious garden atrium, which offers opportunities for spontaneous interaction, collaboration, discovery, and rest. Stepped terraces connect to the four main levels of activity: a restaurant on the first floor, an amphitheater and auditorium on the center levels, and an exhibition and event space on the fourth floor. The atrium features native trees and planting and is paved with local stone. It was designed in collaboration with São Paulo-based Isabel Duprat Landscape Architecture. 

The atrium’s vaulted glass roof structure features an innovative shading and daylighting system that creates a visual effect evoking the experience of being under a leafy tree. Safdie Architects worked with specialty German sub-contractor Seele, and its local partners, to engineer the multilayered skylight system. The roof functions to simultaneously provide ample daylight for the plants to thrive, regulate heat gain and glare for human comfort, and provide shading by filtering bright sunlight. With its bespoke frit pattern and solar protection coating, the roof’s design played a major role in the building achieving LEED Gold status.

The Center is divided into two connected wings, east and west. The east wing contains the main teaching spaces, including education spaces for nursing, medicine, graduate programs, medical residency, and technical courses. The west wing houses medical research facilities, including laboratories, clean rooms, and clinical research resources. Walkways bridge the wings and are joined by a series of intimate meeting and study spaces across each level of the building. 

The building is nestled into the sloping hillside site. Full-height glass walls, planted terraces, and shaded overhangs create a strong balance of light and shadow across the Center’s exterior. Its louvered façade mitigates the scale of the building while providing optimal light and shade to the interior spaces. A pedestrian bridge connects the Center to the Einstein main hospital. 

“While the exterior is scaled to be discrete, the spacious multilevel garden at the heart of the Center feels like an unexpected discovery: bright, inviting, and inspiring,” said Sean Scensor, the project’s partner-in-charge for Safdie Architects. “The environment we have created embodies the excitement of learning and research.”

The AEERC is scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2022.

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